I recently spoke with Global Force Wrestling's Sonjay Dutt about his original release, and subsequent returns to TNA Wrestling, as well as Jeff Jarrett's surprise appearance for the company. We also discussed TNA releasing their X-Division originals, Toby Keith, and much more.
You can also check out part one of our interview at this link.
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You spoke about TNA, and you left in 2009, but you've appeared for them each of the past four years. What led to that departure, and how is that relationship?
"In 2009 my contract was coming up, and they opted to not renew it. The reason behind that are still a mystery to me. I don't even know if anyone who was around in a management position for my departure is still there. I couldn't get an answer why that happened. Fast forward two years and I was working on Ring Ka King with Jeff, I was in Nashville every week in the office. Shortly after Ring Ka King went off the air, they gave me the call to return to Impact. I came in and out for the next three years, and I've always had a great relationship with them, everyone backstage, and the management. I started with the company in 2003, and at one point I was one of their last originals left on TV."
They've let you, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Kaz, Daniels, Sabin, Shelley, Petey Williams go. Why do you think they were so willing to let the pillars of the X-Division go?
"That's a great question, how do I even answer that? Why would you let that cast of characters that you listed off just go? Not just for their in-ring capabilities, but how those personalities differentiate the product from anything else out there, in and out of the ring. That difference was applauded and heralded because there was nobody else on North American television doing that type of thing. I couldn't tell you why they said 'let's just let these guys go.' In the long term it hurt the in-ring product and the loyal fanbase that was tuning in to see that."
"It was really cool, a cool little moment. I'd say the majority of the fans in that studio were the same fans who were around for the matches with AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and all those guys. I think those guys all miss it just like you do or I do. Being associated with some of those good memories in the past probably contributed to getting that nice little round of applause. Just getting the respect from the fans in that type of atmosphere is priceless."
What were your feelings when the Jarrett-TNA return happened? You were obviously asked about it prior.
"I know there was a lot of back and forth. Everything Jeff and Karen said was the truth. That was a really rough five days, weighing all the pros and cons, weighing the emotional distress and all that had went on between the two sides. How do you forget those things and look past those things? How do you shake their hands and work together? That wasn't my decision to make, but I shared my feelings with Jeff and Karen.
When you're presented with such a difficult decision, it's a lot to take in. Like Jeff said in the promo, it was a lot to think about. He had to think about the GFW roster, the staff, everyone who is working hard to build this brand into something bigger than Jeff has done in the past. I didn't envy Jeff having to make that decision."
That had to be an unusual situation for you. Jarrett is your friend, and he's had this heated backstage battle with TNA, and you've done three tapings for them. Were you caught in the middle, or did anyone even know you were involved with GFW yet?
"I don't think that anybody even knew I was involved. Starting a company from the beginning stages is a lot of work. We were working hard to lay out ground work and see what we were going to be about as a company, what we were going to lay out. Talent is the most important thing to differentiate a product, and that was one of the biggest thing we had to discuss. Then branding and marketing, getting the word out there. That's the hardest thing for a startup company or a young company, getting the word out there and letting people know that they exist."
He seems pretty open to online distribution from our conversations with him. Is that something you're interested in personally? I know TNA did it for a while.
"And that was ten years ago. Things have drastically changed in ten years technologically. I think ten years ago TNA did it out of necessity, whereas now it can be an option to get the word out for your product. There's no telling what tomorrow will bring. Technology is changing on a daily basis. Right now, digital distribution for an entertainment group is advantageous to them, but who knows what technology will be tomorrow or in two years? That's such a dynamic decision to make."
Is Toby Keith still involved in the company? We'd heard he pulled out last year.
"All I can tell you about that situation is that Jeff and Toby Keith are good friends. Beyond that, I don't know. I wish I did. Selfishly, I could be a little more knowledgeable about that aspect of the company."
Where can the fans follow you on social media?
"On Twitter @SonjayDutterson, on Facebook at Sonjay.Dutt, Pro Wrestling Tees as well if you want to support that. Follow GFW on Twitter @GFWrestling. Our production team is blasting out content almost on an hourly basis. GlobalForceWrestling.com.